The trenbolone acetate affects the immune system in rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss

Sophie Massart, Baptiste Redivo, Enora Flamion, Robert Mandiki, Élodie Falisse, Sylvain Milla, Patrick Kestemont

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In aquatic systems, the presence of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC) can disrupt the reproductive function but also the immune system of wildlife. Some studies have investigated the effects of androgens on the fish immune parameters but the mechanisms by which the xenoandrogens alter the immunity are not well characterized. In order to test the effects of trenbolone acetate (TbA) on fish immune system, we exposed rainbow trout male juveniles during three weeks to TbA levels at 0.1 and 1. μg/L. The present results suggest that TbA impacts, in a tissue-dependent manner, the rainbow trout immunity by affecting primarily the humoral immunity. Indeed, TbA inhibited lysozyme activity in plasma and liver and enhanced the alternative complement pathway activity (ACH50) in kidney. In plasma, the modulation of the complement system was time-dependent. The mRNA expression of genes encoding some cytokines such as renal TGF-β1, TNF-α in skin and hepatic IL-1β was also altered in fish exposed to TbA. Regarding the cellular immunity, no effect was observed on the leucocyte population. However, the expression of genes involved in the development and maturation of lymphoid cells (. RAG-1 and RAG-2) was decreased in TbA-treated fish. Among those effects, we suggest that the modulation of RAG-1 and mucus apolipoprotein-A1 gene expression as well as plasma and hepatic lysozyme activities are mediated through the action of the androgen receptor. All combined, we conclude that trenbolone affects the rainbow trout immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-120
Number of pages12
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Gene expression
  • Immune parameter
  • Immunity
  • Rainbow trout
  • TbA


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